Saturday Quiz – August 23, 2014 – answers and discussion

Here are the answers with discussion for yesterday’s quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
Read the rest of this entry »

Spread the word ...
    Posted in Saturday quiz | Leave a comment

    Saturday Quiz – August 23, 2014

    Welcome to the Billy Blog Saturday Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Spread the word ...
      Posted in Saturday quiz | 4 Comments

      Friday lay day

      Friday, and its my short or no blog day day. Today, I am hosting a Workshop in Newcastle on the Eurozone crisis. We have three papers and a panel discussion. I will post video once it has been processed. But earlier this week there was a meeting in Lindau, Germany where several Nobel prize-winning economists attended along with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Some of the economists are starting to voice their opinions more vocally now and they are very critical of the European policy makers. One might say, what took them so long.
      Read the rest of this entry »

      Spread the word ...
        Posted in Eurozone, Friday | 5 Comments

        RBA spills the beans on Australia’s failed fiscal strategy

        The Governor and other senior officials of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics yesterday (August 20, 2014), as part of the review by the Government of the 2013 RBA Annual Report. The Governor and the RBA Board are, ultimately, creatures of the political process, being appointed by the Government, which tells you that all the guff about central bank independence is just a smokescreen. Further, the insights that the RBA officials provided to the Economics Committee should leave no-one in doubt that the Federal government’s fiscal strategy is a failed vision for the prosperity of our nation.
        Read the rest of this entry »

        Spread the word ...
          Posted in Economics | 14 Comments

          Austerity does not necessarily require a cut in government spending

          The Bloomberg Op Ed article (August 19, 2014) – European Austerity Is a Myth – is about as flaky as it gets. The author is intent on justifying the article title by examining changes in government spending (as a per cent of GDP). He produces what he claims is “more appropriately called the ‘graph of the decade’”, which would mean it was some graph, but in reality tells us very little and does not provide the basis for his conclusion that rising government spending since 2007 is evidence that austerity has not been imposed. Oh dear! Some points need to be made.
          Read the rest of this entry »

          Spread the word ...
            Posted in Eurozone | 11 Comments

            Germany contracts as the French suggest defiance

            According to data just published by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), its national statistics agency, the French economy has stalled in the second-quarter 2014. In its – Informations Rapides, Principaux indicateurs 14 août 2014 – n°186 – we learn that the “le PIB en volume est stable”, which is a cute French way of saying that real GDP growth was zero, building on the zero growth from the first-quarter, which means their terminology that it is “stable” is accurate but an understatement. The latest data from Eurostat (August 14, 2014) – GDP stable in the euro area and up by 0.2% in the EU28 – show that the three largest economies in the Eurozone (and Europe) are either in recession (Italy) or teetering on recession (France, Germany). The French Finance Minister reacted to this news by calling for a rethink of economic policy in Europe with a shift in emphasis to growth. He indicated that the French government would reduce its deficit in its own time without undermining new stimulus measures aimed at kickstarted domestic growth and reducing the unemployment rate. It is looking like 2003 all over again.]
            Read the rest of this entry »

            Spread the word ...
              Posted in Eurozone | 5 Comments

              I would be voting NO in Scotland but with a lot of anger

              I am fairly tied up today on the Gold Coast where I presented a Keynote address to an unemployment conference. But I was reading the news on the plane this morning from Melbourne. While in Melbourne for work last week, I stayed over and saw a great movie at the weekend at the Melbourne Film Festival – Human Capital – which I recommend. On the plane this morning I noticed our intrepid Prime Minister has taken to lecturing the Scottish about their political destiny. His exhortations are both hypocritical and reflect a failure to comprehend the options that national sovereignty would provide Scotland, which has a referendum coming up on September 18. But even if they build a bit of national solidarity in Scotland (against the foreigner), the First Minister who is pushing the YES vote is still proposing to enslave the nation to a foreign power – none other than Britain. His currency Plan A amounts to madness and would not underpin a vibrant independent Scotland. As such I would be voting NO at the referendum but feeling bad that the so-called progressive political classes in Scotland were so entranced with neo-liberalism that they forced obvious YES votes to become NO votes.
              Read the rest of this entry »

              Spread the word ...
                Posted in Britain | 20 Comments

                Saturday Quiz – August 16, 2014 – answers and discussion

                Here are the answers with discussion for yesterday’s quiz. The information provided should help you understand the reasoning behind the answers. If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
                Read the rest of this entry »

                Spread the word ...
                  Posted in Saturday quiz | 1 Comment

                  Saturday Quiz – August 16, 2014

                  Welcome to the Billy Blog Saturday Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention over the last seven days. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
                  Read the rest of this entry »

                  Spread the word ...
                    Posted in Saturday quiz | 5 Comments

                    Friday lay day

                    Its Friday and my blog lay day – which might mean anything. That is, I might write no blog or just a small blog. Its what I call freedom. A big week has gone. Edward Elgar will publish the English-version of my Euro book – more details later. The Treasurer has turned his nonsensical fiscal statement into a ‘trainwreck’, we learn that the world is actually in danger of ‘global cooling’ and more NSW conservative politicians bit the dust as the corruption scandal widens. Next stop – the Federal Liberal Party administration. It is lots of fun watching the conservatives meltdown.
                    Read the rest of this entry »

                    Spread the word ...
                      Posted in Friday | 2 Comments